Merriman sits out 2 practices, says progress is OK - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Merriman sits out 2 practices, says progress is OK

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Shawne Merriman isn't in top form with less than three weeks to go before the regular season - and he's not worried about it.

The San Diego Chargers' star outside linebacker is still working his way back from knee surgery that sidelined him after the season opener in 2008.

Merriman didn't participate in either practice Tuesday - the last day of camp with two practices - but said there's nothing to be alarmed about. He spent part of the afternoon working out in the pool and expects to be back for Wednesday afternoon's practice.

Merriman said there are certain things he's able to do better than before the surgery, but other aspects of his game aren't there yet.

Merriman said he'd rather not think about what percentage he's at. He said he'll know he's all the way back when everything is second nature.

"I'm still progressing," he said. "When I'll be 100 percent is when I feel like I'll be able to go out there and do everything without thinking about it. Thing is, I'll go out there and do it, but I'm still thinking about it. That's the thing. It's not whether I can do it or not. I can do it. You have to self-consciously think about things when you're not 100 percent."

Merriman got to Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner a few times in Saturday night's exhibition win but didn't get a sack.

"My explosion is there, turning the corner is there, but the timing and knowing my relationship between where I'm at and the quarterback, that is still off right now," he said. "Every week I want to be able to do something a little bit different."

He said he felt he had a pretty good game Saturday night. Merriman had 39 1/2 sacks his first three seasons, so the bar is set high, even in the exhibition season.

"Unless I go out there and get two or three sacks, it won't be enough for anybody," Merriman said. "When I look at the film, I'm looking at probably something different. And point blank, I'm going to be me at the end of the day. I can find the ball blindfolded and that's just how it is."

Coach Norv Turner said he's satisfied with Merriman's progress.

"If there's such a thing as being on schedule, he's on schedule," Turner said. "I always go by talking to him and looking in his eye and all that, and he's excited where he's at.

"I was really impressed with what he did in the game, with his movement, putting his foot in the ground and changing direction," Turner said. "He's just got some things to work through."

NOTES: QB Philip Rivers appeared to have his right ankle taped but said it was nothing. Rivers signed a six-year contract extension Monday worth $93 million, with $38 million guaranteed. ... TE Antonio Gates sat out the afternoon because of general soreness but said he's fine.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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